Advanced search

Cantering confidence

(19 Posts)
SerotoninCanEatTomorrow Thu 22-Aug-13 14:33:35

Hello all, some of you might remember me (hopeful!) and my trials with two shares.

My new share pony is lovely. But I think I am going to have to give up because I can't canter. I have completely lost my nerve, to the point that I tried a canter yesterday on him and literally was terrified. The whole time I had no brakes, little steering and lost my seat/stirrups. I used to be really confident, had a brill seat and was able to deal with the fizziest types - no more. I didn't fall this time, but then again, I couldn't stop him, he got all sweated up and I was a mess.

What can I do to get my confidence back? I know I was hanging on to the reins too much hmm but I was so concerned about steering in the school that I felt I couldn't let the reins loose. What can I do? I don't want to ruin this horse by riding like an idiot!

mrslaughan Thu 22-Aug-13 15:19:13

It sounds like you need some lessons.... Maybe on a lunge, your pony probably got all sweated up because you were stressed and hanging onto his mouth.
At least on the lunge you could not have your hands on the reins, and work on getting comfortable on the motion.

Ehhn Thu 22-Aug-13 15:31:45

Put a neck strap on or an r-rstor (?sp) you can pull your bum into the seat without pulling on the mouth. Also, break down cantering into smaller sections. Ie on a 20m circle, ask for canter. Allow 3/4 strides then trot. Repeat. Build from there. Hard work ans pony will sweat for the right reasons! It will improve confidence, balance and brakes. Maybe consider shortening your stirrups too.

SerotoninCanEatTomorrow Thu 22-Aug-13 17:54:40

Neck strap would be a good idea I think, and I am thinking having a go on a schoolmaster would be advantageous - I have the fear big time as I not long fractured my spine after falling from a (fast) tanking off up the school with me canter.

Booboostoo Thu 22-Aug-13 19:00:30

You need some lessons, preferably in an RS with a reliable horse and an experienced instructor. I don't mean to be unkind but in order to share a horse you need to be relatively confident in all three paces and able to work the horse in the school and/or hacks safely. For your own safety and to build up your confidence again seek some professinal help.

SerotoninCanEatTomorrow Thu 22-Aug-13 20:32:47

Thanks Boo, I know I need some confidence giving lessons, pony just coming back into work so I hadn't needed to canter much before now! I am confident hacking and schooling in walk/trot, he goes quite nicely for me but as soon as canter comes into it I just freeze up and want to haul him to a stop. I am having a lesson with an instructor on him next week, as well as a nice hack, so hopefully she can give me some confidence, but I really want to get on a schoolmaster so I know that I can concentrate on enjoying the canter - it's my fave pace usually!

Incapinka Thu 22-Aug-13 20:33:35

Lessons! With a very lovely patient instructor. Whereabouts are you?

SerotoninCanEatTomorrow Thu 22-Aug-13 21:45:28

I am in North Oxfordshire smile am willing to travel for a nice (reasonably priced) instructor though

Incapinka Fri 23-Aug-13 22:19:42

Think dorset is a bit too far wink Hopefully someone can recommend a lovely person who will be able to help.

SerotoninCanEatTomorrow Sat 24-Aug-13 21:26:10

Thank you! I have a lesson with the owners instructor on Tuesday on the pony in question so I am hoping I can pick up some tips. I know what the problem is, I just don't know how to fix it!

lucertola28 Sat 24-Aug-13 21:44:55

I know how you feel, I had complete loss of confidence recently and cantering was hard because I was thinking too much about what if pony goes too fast at some level in my head so was giving mixed signals and not letting pony go forward.

If you need to stay in walk and trot for a session and feel 100% comfortable in that before you canter him do so, nothing wrong with that if you are feeling nervous.

Then when you are having lesson and reassurance of an instructor there do some canter work, even if it is just a lap on each rein. In your head you will then know you can do it and that nothing 'bad' happened.

What also helps is to talk to yourself out loud saying what you are doing as you go, some of best riders I know do it, so you could be trotting then saying I am on right diagonal, this trot is bit slow, I need to make it more active, more leg, on you go pony. When cantering I sometimes do say stuff like, trot is active, I'll canter at next corner, trot, trot, halfhalt, sit, sit, sit, leg back, leg on, if bit slow then say more inside leg, if too fast, whoa and release, I also say heels down to myself a good bit lol

Obviously you don't need to go into so much detail all the time but sometimes thinking out loud and focusing mostly on yourself takes up your focus on what you are doing rather than what you are feeling emotionally, if that makes sense, I also remind myself to breath if I am feeling a bit nervous.

Hope lesson goes well and your confidence comes back soon, I know how horrible it can feel to have lost your nerve.

SerotoninCanEatTomorrow Sat 24-Aug-13 21:58:47

Luce that's some really good advice thank you. I know I will overcome it, it's just getting to that point! I was scared of fast trotting for a while and I sorted that by relaxing and concentrating on my seat etc. so I am hoping this will work in the same way smile

lucertola28 Sat 24-Aug-13 22:01:20

You're welcome, and you will overcome it, just take it one step at a time smile

I was practically in the foetal position at times a few weeks ago lol and am much better now after some private lessons too

Lasvegas Wed 28-Aug-13 17:10:28

Have you tried a strap on the front of the saddle? Then you can hang on to something that isn't his mouth. Personally I find it easier cantering on a bridle path than in a school, as easier to get into a flow without corners, and trying to keep the horse out.

SerotoninCanEatTomorrow Mon 02-Sep-13 22:24:55

Got a lesson booked Wednesday smile

lucertola28 Tue 03-Sep-13 21:30:55

That's great, best of luck with your lesson smile

SerotoninCanEatTomorrow Wed 04-Sep-13 10:02:23

Nervous today. It's ridiculous I know lol smile

mrslaughan Wed 04-Sep-13 17:56:12

How did it go?

SerotoninCanEatTomorrow Sat 07-Sep-13 07:13:36

Went well, didn't end up cantering in the end as we ran out of time! I am arranging a schoolmaster lesson at the end of the month though smile with the same instructor so i can work on my balance etc smile

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: